GUIDELINES FOR THE PRESENTATION OF DOCUMENTS TO THE PARLIAMENT INCLUDING GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS, GOVERNMENT RESPONSES TO COMMITTEE REPORTS ...

 
GUIDELINES FOR THE PRESENTATION
                                    OF DOCUMENTS
                                 TO THE PARLIAMENT
               (INCLUDING GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS,
    GOVERNMENT RESPONSES TO COMMITTEE REPORTS
           MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS, ANNUAL REPORTS
                           AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS)

                                     FEBRUARY 2017

Copies of these Guidelines can be obtained from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
website at http://www.dpmc.gov.au/resource-centre/government/guidelines-presentation-documents-
parliament-0
Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

© Commonwealth of Australia 2017

ISBN 978-1-925362-22-0             (PDF)
ISBN 978-1-925362-23-7             (DOCX)

February 2017

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This publication should be attributed as follows: Commonwealth of Australia, Department of the Prime Minister and
Cabinet, Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

Table of Contents
1.0    INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................................ 1
2.0    WHY DOCUMENTS ARE PRESENTED/TABLED ..................................................................................... 2
3.0    TABLING DAYS IN PARLIAMENT ............................................................................................................ 3
       Confirmation that a document has been tabled .......................................................................................... 3
4.0    PRESENTATION OF GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS TO PARLIAMENT ................................................ 4
       What is a government document? .............................................................................................................. 4
       Printing and publishing standards for documents ....................................................................................... 4
       Annual reports ............................................................................................................................................ 4
                Non-corporate and corporate Commonwealth entities .................................................................. 4
                Commonwealth companies ........................................................................................................... 4
                Compliance with relevant legislation .............................................................................................. 5
                Scrutiny of reports by parliamentary committees ........................................................................... 5
                Overdue reports............................................................................................................................. 5
       What you need to do to table a document: ................................................................................................. 5
              Ministerial approval ........................................................................................................................ 5
              Copies ........................................................................................................................................... 6
              Timing considerations .................................................................................................................... 6
              Covering Minute to the PM&C Tabling Officer ............................................................................... 6
       Correction of errors in documents............................................................................................................... 6
       Presenting documents when Parliament is not sitting................................................................................. 6
       Documents confidential to Government ...................................................................................................... 7
       Public release prior to tabling ..................................................................................................................... 7
       Parliamentary privilege ............................................................................................................................... 7
       Reports of Royal Commissions .................................................................................................................. 7
       Availability of documents online once tabled .............................................................................................. 7
5.0    GOVERNMENT RESPONSES TO PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE REPORTS .................................... 8
       General ....................................................................................................................................................... 8
       Timeframe for responses ............................................................................................................................ 8
       Reports not requiring a response................................................................................................................ 8
       Preparation of Government responses ....................................................................................................... 8
       Legislation Committee reports .................................................................................................................... 9
       Approval process ...................................................................................................................................... 10
       Tabling requirements ................................................................................................................................ 10
       Ministerial Statement to accompany the tabling of a Government response ............................................ 10
       Interim responses ..................................................................................................................................... 10
       Overdue responses – House of Representatives ..................................................................................... 10
       Periodic reports by Presiding Officers....................................................................................................... 11
6.0    MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS .................................................................................................................. 12
       Presentation in Parliament........................................................................................................................ 12
       Ministers planning to make a statement ................................................................................................... 12
       Once clearance has been received for a Ministerial Statement to be presented in the House ................. 12
       Timing and copy requirements: ................................................................................................................ 13
7.0    DEEMED/CLERK’S DOCUMENTS .......................................................................................................... 14
       Advice to the Clerks .................................................................................................................................. 14
       Timing for tabling ...................................................................................................................................... 14
       Copies ...................................................................................................................................................... 14
8.0    PRESENTING DOCUMENTS TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE WHEN THE SENATE IS NOT
       SITTING ................................................................................................................................................... 15
9.0    ADDITIONAL COPIES FOR THE PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS SERIES AND COMMONWEALTH
       LIBRARY DEPOSIT AND FREE ISSUE SCHEMES ............................................................................... 16
       Parliamentary Paper Series ...................................................................................................................... 16
       Commonwealth Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes ....................................................................... 17
       Copies ...................................................................................................................................................... 17
       Funding additional copies ......................................................................................................................... 17
10.0   SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS ................................................................................................................ 18
       Access to Parliament House..................................................................................................................... 18
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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

Appendices

APPENDIX A - Maps of Parliament House – Basement and Ground Floor

APPENDIX B - Summary of tabling requirements on sitting days – General

APPENDIX C - Government documents (including annual reports) – Summary of copy requirements

APPENDIX D - Government responses to parliamentary committee reports – Summary of copy requirements

APPENDIX E - Ministerial Statements – Summary of copy requirements

APPENDIX F - Deemed /Clerk's documents – Summary of copy requirements

APPENDIX G - Presentation of documents to the President of the Senate when the Senate is not sitting (summary of
             copy requirements)
APPENDIX GA - Sample covering email to notify availability of documents online once tabled

APPENDIX H - Covering memorandum to the PM&C Tabling Officer

APPENDIX I - Template for the title page of a Government response

APPENDIX J - Ministerial Statement title page

APPENDIX K - Extract from the relevant Senate and House of Representatives Standing Orders relating to
             Government responses to Committee reports

APPENDIX L - Extract: Senate Standing Orders and other orders of the Senate - Senate standing order 166 – Other
             methods of tabling documents

APPENDIX M - Form transmittal letter from a Minister to the President of the Senate to present a document when the
             Senate is not sitting

APPENDIX N - Labels for tabling of Government documents

APPENDIX O - Labels for tabling of Government responses

APPENDIX P - Labels for tabling of Ministerial Statements

APPENDIX Q - Contacts for Inquiries

APPENDIX R - Useful Resources

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

1.0      INTRODUCTION
1.1       These guidelines provide advice to departments on the procedures to be followed when:
                 tabling a government report or other documents, including annual reports and responses
                  to parliamentary committee reports, and
                  a Ministerial Statement is to be presented to the Parliament.
1.2       Unless otherwise indicated in these guidelines, references to “departments” include other
          non-corporate and corporate Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies.
1.3       The Tabling Officer of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C Tabling Officer)
          is responsible for coordinating the presentation/tabling to Parliament of Government documents,
          with the exception of the following:
                 documents required by statute to be presented by the Speaker and the President,
                  e.g. Auditor-General’s reports, and
                 documents presented as deemed documents in the House of Representatives and as
                  Clerk’s documents in the Senate (see paragraphs 7.1 – 7.7).
1.4       In all instances, it is the responsibility of departments, to ensure compliance with
          legislative reporting and tabling requirements.

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

2.0      WHY DOCUMENTS ARE PRESENTED/TABLED
2.1       Tabling documents keeps the Parliament informed of the Government’s activities. It
          demonstrates the accountability of the Government to the Parliament and the community, and
          provides an important primary source of information to senators and members as well as placing
          information on the public record.
2.2       Some documents are required by statute to be tabled. These include annual reports and reports
          of the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Productivity Commission. Other documents
          are tabled because of their significance including Treaties and reports of Royal Commissions.
2.3       Documents that have been tabled should be accessible. It is a requirement under these
          Guidelines that once a document has been tabled, it will be available on the relevant entity
          website (see paragraphs 4.35 and 4.36).

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3.0      TABLING DAYS IN PARLIAMENT
3.1       Documents required to be presented to the Parliament must be tabled in both Houses, unless the
          document relates only to the proceedings of a particular House (e.g. a Government response to a
          Senate committee inquiry would be tabled in the Senate only).
3.2       Times for tabling of Government documents and Government responses to committee reports
          are as follows:

                                     Monday                Tuesday           Wednesday             Thursday

              House of          *#† after Question    *#† after Question   *#† after Question   *#† after Question
           Representatives        Time, approx.         Time, approx.        Time, approx.        Time, approx.
                                     3.10pm                3.10pm               3.10pm               3.10pm

                Senate             * 10.00am,            * 12.30pm,           * 9.30am,            Government
                                 immediately after     immediately after   immediately after    documents are not
                                     prayers.              prayers.            prayers.            tabled in the
                                                                                                    Senate on
                                   Government          †‡ after question   †‡ after question
                                                                                                     Thursday
                                responses are not      time and motions    time and motions
                                   tabled in the         to take note of     to take note of    †‡ after question
                                    Senate on               answers,            answers,        time and motions
                                     Monday.             approximately       approximately        to take note of
                                                       between 3.30pm      between 3.30pm            answers,
                                                          and 5.00pm.         and 5.00pm.         approximately
                                                                                                between 3.30pm
                                                                                                   and 4.30pm.

          * Government documents
          # Government responses to House of Representatives committee reports
          † Government responses to joint committee reports
          ‡ Government responses to Senate committee reports
3.3       Government documents tabled in the House of Representatives on a Thursday will be tabled in
          the Senate on the next available sitting day. Documents presented out of sitting in the Senate are
          tabled in the House of Representatives on the next available tabling day. (see paragraphs
          8.1 - 8.7).

Confirmation that a document has been tabled
3.4       The PM&C Tabling Officer will advise the department, via email, once a document has been
          tabled. Immediately following this advice, the department is required to make an electronic
          version available on their website (see paragraphs 4.35 and 4.36).
3.5       Titles of the documents tabled in the House of Representatives are recorded in the Votes and
          Proceedings; and in the Senate in the Journals of the Senate.

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4.0      PRESENTATION OF GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS TO
         PARLIAMENT
What is a government document?
4.1      The requirements set out below in this chapter apply to Government documents which include, but
         are not limited to, annual reports, periodic reports with a statutory basis, reports of a Royal
         Commission and other miscellaneous documents that the government wishes to have tabled.
4.2      For the purposes of these Guidelines, Government documents do not include Government
         responses to Parliamentary Committee Reports (Chapter 5), Ministerial Statements (Chapter 6) or
         Deemed/Clerk’s Documents (Chapter 7).
4.3      Departments requiring advice on whether a document is a Government document can contact the
         Documents Officer, Senate Table Office, (02) 6277 3037 or Documents Manager, House of
         Representatives Table Office, (02) 6277 4800.

Printing and publishing standards for documents
4.4      Documents must be printed in accordance with the Printing standards for documents presented to
         Parliament (Standards) prepared by the Joint Publications
         Committee. http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Chamber_documents/Tabled_Papers
         /Advice_to_government_agencies

Annual reports

Non-corporate and corporate Commonwealth entities
4.5       Subsection 46(1) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA
          Act), requires that at the end of each reporting period, the accountable authority of the entity must
          give an annual report to the entity’s responsible Minister, for presentation to the Parliament, on
          the entity’s activities during the period.
4.6       Subsection 46(2) of the PGPA Act provides that the accountable authority of a Commonwealth
          entity must provide the annual report to the responsible Minister by the 15th day of the fourth
          month after the end of the reporting period (for example, 15 October for reporting periods ending
          on 30 June). Guidance material detailing the minimum mandatory content requirements for
          Commonwealth entities’ annual reports is available on the Department of Finance website
          at http://www.finance.gov.au/resource-management/performance/
4.7       As per past practice, it is expected that the responsible Minister will present the report to each
          House of Parliament on or before 31 October. If Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates
          hearings are scheduled to occur prior to 31 October, it is best practice for annual reports to be
          tabled prior to those hearings. This ensures that annual reports are available for scrutiny by the
          relevant Senate standing committee.

Commonwealth companies
4.8       Subsection 97(1) of the PGPA Act provides that the directors of a Commonwealth company must
          give the responsible Minister a copy of the company’s financial report, directors’ report and
          auditor’s report that the company is required by the Corporations Act 2001 to have for the
          reporting period. Collectively, these reports constitute the annual report. Guidance material
          detailing the minimum mandatory content requirements for Commonwealth companies’ annual
          reports is available on the Department of Finance website at http://www.finance.gov.au/resource-
          management/performance/
4.9       Under subsection 97(2) of the PGPA Act, Commonwealth companies are required to give the
          responsible Minister a copy of the company’s annual report 21 days before its next annual
          general meeting after the end of the company’s reporting period, or four months after the end of
          the reporting period for the company, whichever is the earlier.
4.10      As per past practice, it is expected that the responsible Minister will present the report to each
          House of Parliament on or before 31 October. If Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates
          hearings are scheduled to occur prior to 31 October, it is best practice for annual reports to be

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament
          tabled prior to those hearings. This ensures that annual reports are available for scrutiny by the
          relevant Senate standing committee.

Compliance with relevant legislation
4.11     Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies need to be aware of, and comply with,
         any other statutory provisions that relate to their annual reports. As these additional requirements
         may be specific to individual entities or companies, they may not be captured in the annual report
         guidance provided by the Department of Finance.

Scrutiny of reports by parliamentary committees
4.12     In the Senate, annual reports are referred to the relevant standing committee which is required to
         examine each annual report, and report to the Senate every six months on whether the report is
         satisfactory (Senate standing order 25(20)). The committees may report in greater detail on
         selected reports, including any considered to be unsatisfactory in terms of timeliness, publication
         standards or compliance with other requirements.
4.13     In the House of Representatives, annual reports stand referred to the relevant House general
         purpose standing committee for any inquiry the committee may wish to make.
4.14     Departments are encouraged to consider any relevant reports from parliamentary committees
         when preparing the annual report.

Overdue reports
4.15     Annual reports are periodic reports under section 34C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (AIA).
         Whether a report is overdue will depend on the particular circumstances of each Commonwealth
         entity or Commonwealth company.
         Where a deadline for a report cannot be met, an extension is to be sought in accordance with their
         relevant legislation or subsections 34C(4)-(7) of the AIA, as appropriate.
4.16     An explanation to be given to the Minister by way of a letter from the accountable authority must
         include:
                   the entity name,
                   the date the annual report was given or is expected to be given to the Minister,
                   the reasons why it will not be reasonably possible to comply with the deadline, and
                   the name and telephone number of a contact officer within the entity.
4.17      An explanation given retrospectively (that is, one given under subsection 34C(7) of the AIA) must
          include the reason why an extension was not sought under subsection 34C(4) of the AIA prior to
          the expiry of the specified period.
4.18      Statements relating to extensions for overdue reports which are required to be ‘laid before each
          House of Parliament’ are to be tabled as Clerk’s documents in the Senate and deemed
          documents in the House of Representatives (see paragraphs 7.1 - 7.7).

What you need to do to table a document:

Ministerial approval
4.19      Ministerial approval is required to table a document in the Parliament. Departments need to
          advise their Minister of any timing considerations; in particular, any statutory time limits for
          tabling.

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Copies
4.20      The copies that are delivered to Parliament House are distributed to different locations within the
          building. Therefore, it is essential that copies are packaged and delivered according to
          Appendices B, C and N. It is the responsibility of departments to ensure these requirements are
          met. If there are any difficulties in providing the required copies, contact the PM&C Tabling
          Officer immediately (see Appendix Q).

Timing considerations
4.21      The PM&C Tabling Officer must be alerted to any special timing considerations such as:
                   a need for a report to be tabled simultaneously in both Houses (e.g. if the report is
                    sensitive or controversial), or
                   a Minister’s preference for a report to be tabled in one chamber before the other.
4.22      If a document needs to be tabled urgently, the PM&C Tabling Officer needs to be contacted at
          the earliest opportunity to explore what options exist for tabling to meet the desired timeframe.

Covering Minute to the PM&C Tabling Officer
4.23      The department must provide a covering minute together with the copies of the report to the
          PM&C Tabling Officer (see Appendix H) with the following information:
                   date the report was transmitted to the Minister (in the case of annual reports and other
                    reports required to be tabled by statute):
                    −   this is the date on which the finalised report (whether in manuscript form prior to
                        going to print or in the form of a printed publication) was first submitted to the
                        Minister;
                    −   if the tabling of an entity report is being handled through a department on behalf of its
                        portfolio bodies, it is essential that the department ascertain if the report has already
                        been transmitted directly to the Minister and the date thereof;
                    −   where there are statutory time limits involved and the report was transmitted late to
                        the Minister, the covering memorandum also needs to indicate the date by which the
                        report was to have been transmitted to the Minister in accordance with the relevant
                        statutory provisions;
                    −   date of receipt by the Minister (in the case of annual reports and other reports
                        required to be tabled by statute) – this is the date on which the Minister first sighted
                        the finalised report
                   confirmation that the Minister has agreed to table the report,
                   any statutory requirements to table the report citing the relevant Act and section,
                   whether the Minister proposes to make a statement on presentation (see paragraphs 6.1
                    - 6.7), and
                   contact details for a responsible officer in the department .

Correction of errors in documents
4.24      The PM&C Tabling Officer is to be contacted as soon as possible if the department needs to
          correct a report that is to be, or has been, tabled in Parliament. Generally corrections are tabled
          in the same manner and subject to the same copy requirements (including approval by the
          relevant Minister) as the original report.
4.25      A correction is to clearly identify the document being corrected. It needs to show the department
          name, the title of the original report or document and the correction details.

Presenting documents when Parliament is not sitting
4.26      The Senate standing orders provide that documents may be presented when the Senate is not
          sitting (see paragraphs 8.1 - 8.7). Departments can consider this option if there is a statutory or
          urgent and compelling need to have documents presented at a time when Parliament is not
          sitting.

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament
4.27      The House of Representatives does not provide for the presentation of documents when it is not
          sitting.

Documents confidential to Government
4.28      Documents prepared for tabling are confidential (under embargo) to the Government until they
          are presented to the Parliament. For that reason, appropriate security needs to be in place until
          the document is tabled. Documents must be appropriately packaged and labelled for each
          addressee and delivered by hand. Departments need to ensure that any contracted courier or
          printer services are aware of this requirement.

Public release prior to tabling
4.29      When considering whether a document can be released prior to tabling in Parliament (that is,
          made publicly available for example at a media launch) the House of Representatives Practice
          6th Edition (page 612) notes that public release of a document before presentation to Parliament
          “has always been considered a matter of impropriety”. Every effort needs to be made to ensure
          the document is tabled in Parliament prior to, or to coincide with, public release of the report. The
          PM&C Tabling Officer can advise on how best to handle the matter.

Parliamentary privilege
4.30      Some documents to be presented to the Parliament may require the protection of parliamentary
          privilege, e.g. reports which name individuals as offenders or reports which may be regarded by
          certain people as defamatory.
4.31      The term ‘parliamentary privilege’ refers to the powers, rights and immunities attaching to the
          Houses of Parliament under section 49 of The Constitution and provided by the Parliamentary
          Privileges Act 1987. The two principal elements are:
                   the immunity of parliamentary debates and proceedings from use in courts, and
                 the power of the Parliament to compel the attendance of witnesses, the giving of evidence
                  and the production of documents, and the power to judge and punish contempts of the
                  Parliament.
4.32      The protection of parliamentary privilege means that a person cannot be sued or prosecuted in
          respect of words spoken and acts done in the course of, or for the purposes of or incidental to,
          giving evidence or preparing or submitting documents to a House of Parliament or a
          parliamentary committee. Neither these acts, nor the material submitted, can be used against a
          person in legal proceedings. (See subsection 16(2) of the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987.)
4.33      Where there may be legal and parliamentary privilege considerations relating to the publication of
          a report, advice may be sought from the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of
          the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Government Division). Departments must settle any such issues
          before arrangements are made for tabling or for release.

Reports of Royal Commissions
4.34      The PM&C Tabling Officer needs to be consulted well in advance when it is proposed to table the
          report of a Royal Commission. Factors to be considered include whether:
                 a Ministerial Statement is to be made by the Minister to coincide with the tabling of the
                  report, and
                 there are any special copy requirements arising from the number of volumes of the report.

Availability of documents online once tabled
4.35      Once a document has been tabled in Parliament, it must be made available online as soon as
          possible. The PM&C Tabling Officer notifies the relevant department(s) which is then responsible
          for uploading the document as soon as possible to the relevant website. It is the responsibility of
          the author department/entity to ensure that the electronic version of the document is identical to
          the printed version.
4.36      Once published on the website, the department must notify the Parliament by email that the
          document is available online. Emails are to be sent to: documents.tabled@aph.gov.au
          (see Appendix GA for a sample email).

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5.0      GOVERNMENT RESPONSES TO PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE
         REPORTS
General
5.1      The referral of a bill before the Parliament to a parliamentary committee for inquiry and report
         (predominantly in the Senate) will have an impact on when the bill will be programmed for debate.
             a. In the House of Representatives, until the committee has reported debate can only
                 proceed up to the second reading and reporting of any Governor-General’s message
                 recommending an appropriation.
             b. In the Senate, debate will not occur until the committee to which the bill has been referred
                 has reported.

5.2      It is the responsibility of departments to monitor and follow up on any parliamentary committee
         inquiries and, where relevant, reports on bills in consultation with their Ministers’ offices.

Timeframe for responses
5.3      The timeframe for responses to Parliamentary committee reports after their presentation to the
         Parliament is as follows (Appendix K):
                   Senate Committee reports – within 3 months (Senate resolution of continuing effect no.
                    46, adopted 14 March 1973),
                   House of Representatives Committee reports – within 6 months (Resolution of the House,
                    adopted 29 September 2010), and
                   Joint Parliamentary Committee reports – within 3 months.

Reports not requiring a response
5.4      Reports from the following committees are not generally subject to the arrangements set out in
         this section:
                   House or Senate Standing Committees on Library, Privileges and Members’ Interests,
                    Senators’ Interests, Selection,
                    Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances,
                    Senate Selection of Bills Committee,
                    Joint Statutory Committee on Public Works,
                    Joint Statutory Committee on Human Rights, and
                   Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.*
                     *   The approval/tabling process of these Guidelines apply when responding to policy
                         recommendations of a JCPAA report. The Department of Finance is responsible for
                         informing departments/entities that a recommendation in a JCPAA report refers to
                         that department and that a response is required.
5.5      All other committee reports (including inquiries by the Joint Publications Committee and the
         Scrutiny of Bills Committee) require a response if they contain recommendations.

Preparation of Government responses
5.6      Once a report is tabled, the PM&C Tabling Officer will notify the department with main carriage of
         the subject matter of the report (the lead department), advising of the need for a Government
         response and seeking confirmation the department will take responsibility for
         preparing/coordinating the response. Details of a departmental contact officer are also to be
         provided. Copies of parliamentary committee reports can be obtained directly from the relevant
         committee website (List of Parliamentary Committees).
5.7      A Government response is to be prepared in accordance with the timeframes outlined above. The
         lead department may need to coordinate input from other departments with a policy responsibility
         for matters raised in the report. Input from other departments must have Ministerial approval.

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5.8      Responses to parliamentary committee reports may contain a preamble outlining the
         Government’s policy position but must address all the recommendations and, if applicable,
         indicate reasons for not accepting any specific recommendation. Reports of Senate and Joint
         Committees with minority or dissenting recommendations must also be dealt with in the same
         manner (see paragraph 3 of the Senate resolution of continuing effect at Appendix K). However,
         the House of Representatives does not require a response to minority or dissenting
         recommendations in reports of House committees.
5.9      Recommendations that have Commonwealth-State implications may need to be raised with the
         relevant State/Territory Government(s) before a response can be made by the Commonwealth
         Minister. Consultation can be an important part in the development of some Government
         responses but not to the extent that it duplicates the work of a committee. Consultation may
         extend to circulating a draft response to State and Territory Governments on an ‘in-confidence’
         basis ahead of finalising the response. In instances where the recommendation(s) fall wholly
         within State responsibilities and no further Commonwealth action is required, a response to that
         effect may be sufficient.
5.10     Where a parliamentary committee report includes a recommendation(s) directed to the Presiding
         Officers of the Parliament (the Speaker of the House of Representatives and/or the President of
         the Senate), departments will need to contact the relevant Clerk to discuss the recommendations
         including the timing of the Government response. Recommendations involving the Presiding
         Officers are a matter for the Presiding Officers and the Government’s response must not commit
         the Presiding Officers to any course of action including requiring the provision of a formal written
         response.
5.11     The format of a Government response may vary depending on the nature and number of
         recommendations. Options include:
                 quoting each recommendation and providing a response for each one, or
                 where feasible, grouping related recommendations from the same report and providing a
                  response to cover the group.
         The template for the title page of a Government response is at Appendix I.
5.12     While the expectation is that each committee report warrants a separate response, there may be
         circumstances where a response sensibly addresses more than one report, eg, the interim report
         and a final report from the same committee.

Legislation Committee reports
5.13     The Senate has a number of Legislation Committees which can inquire into and report on any bills
         or draft bills referred to them.
5.14     Reports from Senate Legislation Committees are not referred to departments by the PM&C
         Tabling Officer for response. However the Senate Parliamentary Liaison Officer will alert
         departments when reports from legislation committees are tabled.
5.15     It is essential that following introduction of a bill, departments keep track of referrals to, and
         reports from, legislation committees to ensure that as far as possible, the Government responds
         to the committee’s recommendations, including any dissenting recommendations, during the
         debate on the bill (either in second reading or summing up speeches or during the committee
         stage). This could be done by moving Government amendments to the bill (and/or amending the
         Explanatory Memorandum) or indicating that recommendations will not be accepted.
5.16     Recommendations not addressed during the debate will require a Government response in
         accordance with the requirements in these Guidelines.
5.17     The House of Representatives does not have separate Legislation Committees. However, the
         general purpose standing committees and Joint Committees may conduct an inquiry into a bill.
         Advisory reports on bills are not likely to require a response unless the report makes
         recommendations which are wider than the provisions of the bills. In that case, the House of
         Representatives Parliament Liaison Officer will alert the relevant department.

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

Approval process
5.18     Government responses, including interim responses, must be approved by either Cabinet
         or the Prime Minister depending on the subject matter.
5.19     The Cabinet Handbook provides guidance on the kinds of matters that would normally come
         before Cabinet (or its committees) for consideration.
5.20     Submissions seeking Cabinet approval for proposed responses need to be lodged in sufficient
         time to comply with the three-month timeframe for providing Government responses.
5.21     Where it is clear that the subject matter does not involve any significant policy, legislative and/or
         contentious issues, the Minister may seek the approval of the Prime Minister for the response to
         be presented to Parliament (and the committee chair) without reference to Cabinet. The Minister
         will receive written advice of approval to table the Government’s response.
5.22     Once approved, the department needs to have the Government response tabled as soon as
         possible.
5.23     Departments must provide a covering minute to the PM&C Tabling Officer indicating that the
         response has been approved for tabling (see Appendix H).
5.24     A copy of the response must be provided by the Minister to the chair of the parliamentary
         committee prior to the response is being tabled. This is not a substitute for the tabling of the
         response in Parliament. It simply allows a committee to be advised of the Government’s response
         as early as possible.

Tabling requirements
5.25     The preference is for responses to be printed on double-sided A4 paper, stapled including the
         cover page showing the name of the committee and the report (see Appendix I). Copies are to be
         packaged and delivered according to Appendices B, D and O.
5.26     When Parliament is not sitting, approved responses to Senate and joint parliamentary committee
         reports may be presented to the President of the Senate in accordance with the process set out
         in paragraphs 8.1 – 8.7. As the House of Representatives does not have arrangements in place
         for the presentation of documents when it is not sitting, approved responses to House of
         Representatives parliamentary committee reports may only be tabled when the House is sitting.

Ministerial Statement to accompany the tabling of a Government response
5.27     In the rare event that a Ministerial Statement is proposed to be made when a Government
         response is tabled, the requirements set out in paragraphs 6.1 - 6.9 apply.
5.28     It is important that the PM&C Tabling Officer be alerted by phone as early as possible about a
         proposed Ministerial Statement accompanying a Government response.

Interim responses
5.29     Subject to approval by Cabinet or the Prime Minister as appropriate, the Minister may provide to
         the chair of the relevant parliamentary committee an interim response, addressing, for example,
         those recommendations on which the Government has reached a firm conclusion, and providing
         advice on when the balance of the Government’s response will be available. The PM&C Tabling
         Officer arranges for the tabling of the interim response provided by the Department.

Overdue responses – House of Representatives
5.30     If a response to a House or joint committee report has not been tabled in the House of
         Representatives within 6 months of the report being presented, the relevant Minister must present
         at the next available opportunity a signed statement outlining the reasons for the delay and be
         available to appear at the next reasonably available opportunity following a request by the
         relevant committee to answer its questions on the statement. If this is not done, the committee
         may bring the matter to the attention of the Auditor-General for assistance in resolving matters
         referred to in the report or to the Speaker for assistance (see Resolution of the House of
         29 September 2010 at Appendix K).
5.31     The statement by the Minister only relates to responses to House and joint committee reports. It is
         not a resolution of the Senate and it is not tabled in the Senate. The statement can only be tabled

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

         when the House is sitting, utilising the same copy requirements and approval process (see
         Appendices B, C and H) as for a Government document. The statement would be tabled with
         other Government documents after Question Time. Each package must be clearly labelled using
         the correct cover sheet (see Appendix N).
5.32     The statement may be either:
             a. a signed letter from the Minister to the Speaker or;
             b. a document with a document title.
5.33     The document must be on ministerial letterhead and contain the following details.
             a. Status of the Government response to the report of the (insert committee’s name) and the
                title of the report (insert title).
             b. Clearly state that the statement is being made in accordance of the House resolution of
                29 September 2010.
             c. An explanation for the delay.
             d. Signature of the Minister.
         NOTE A statement by a Minister is quite different and is not to be confused with Ministerial
         Statements (covered in Section 6 of these Guidelines).

Periodic reports by Presiding Officers

5.34     The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives table a report
         every six months showing parliamentary committee reports where a Government response
         remains outstanding.
5.35     The PM&C Tabling Officer prepares the proposed Government response based on input provided
         by departments. To assist with this process, if a response to a committee report is overdue,
         departments must provide a brief explanation about the delay as well as an indication of when a
         response will be available.
5.36     The Leaders of the two Houses approve and table the Government response to each of the
         Presiding Officers’ reports, providing an update of progress for each outstanding response.
5.37     Departments must ensure that all entries for inclusion in the report have Ministerial
         clearance.

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

6.0      MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
6.1      Ministerial Statements are made to the Parliament by Ministers on behalf of the Government to
         announce, advance, defend or explain the Government’s domestic and foreign policies and
         decisions. As Ministerial Statements can involve parliamentary debate, they cannot proceed
         without the necessary approvals as set out below.

Presentation in Parliament
6.2      The statement is usually made by the responsible Minister in one chamber and is tabled in the
         other chamber unless it concerns an issue of relevance to one house only.
6.3      In the House of Representatives, all statements need to be read out on the floor of the House if
         they are to be recorded in Hansard. The House Order of Business provides for Ministerial
         Statements to be made on Monday after Question Time, and on Tuesday, Wednesday and
         Thursday after Question Time and following the MPI (Matter of Public Importance) or after
         Question Time where no MPI takes place, although they can be made at other times by leave.
6.4      Statements made in the House are usually tabled in the Senate on the next sitting day, although
         they can be read out if the Government prefers. Routine Ministerial Statements can be tabled with
         Government documents immediately after prayers, or they can be tabled in the ministerial
         statement timeslot after Question Time. Leave can also be sought to incorporate the contents of
         the tabled statement into the Senate Hansard. Please liaise with the PM&C Tabling Officer and
         the Senate PLO beforehand regarding the time for tabling in the Senate.
6.5      If the statement is made in the Senate first, there is an opportunity for the statement to be tabled,
         or read out if the Government prefers, on the next sitting day in the House. Please advise the
         PM&C Tabling Officer if this is the case at the time of delivering the copies of the statement,
         subject to the requirements outlined in paragraph 6.6 being met.
6.6      Where a statement is to be made (read) in both chambers, a House of Representatives version
         (references to the Speaker and members) and a Senate version (references to the President and
         senators) of the statement are to be provided to the PM&C Tabling Officer. If a statement is to be
         read out in the House of Representatives and then tabled in the Senate, there is no need for the
         statement to be altered as the same version can be used for both chambers.
6.7      Ministerial Statements are made by leave (i.e. they require permission of the House or Senate).
         The form of words seeking leave will be provided to the Minister by the Table Office of the
         relevant parliamentary department. DO NOT include any such wording at the beginning of the
         statement. An example first page of a Ministerial Statement is at Appendix J.

Ministers planning to make a statement
6.8      Any Minister planning to make a statement must, through their office:
               have the agreement of the Prime Minister and/or Cabinet to make the statement;
               have approval of the Prime Minister for the text of the statement;
               inform the Leader of the House of Representatives, the Leader of the Government in the
                Senate and Manager of Government Business in the Senate to seek parliamentary time for
                the statement in both chambers; and
               inform the House of Representatives and Senate Parliamentary Liaison Officers (HoR PLO
                and Senate PLO) of the intention to make a statement and provide a contact for issuing copy
                requirements and follow-up.

Once clearance has been received for a Ministerial Statement to be presented in the House
6.9      Once clearance has been received, and to assist processing of the statement in the House, the
         Minister’s Office must inform the Leader of the House’s Office and the HoR PLO that:
          •     the Leader of the Opposition and the Opposition Shadow have been informed that a
                statement is to be made; and
          •     agreement has been obtained from the Opposition to one speaker on each side (usually the
                Minister followed by Opposition Shadow – HoR PLO needs to know who will respond for the
                Opposition).

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

          In the absence of agreement to one speaker a side (or in addition to that agreement), the
          Opposition may wish to take note of the statement (Minister will need to table a copy of the
          statement for the take note motion) in which case the House can debate the matter. The debate
          may be adjourned and resumed at a later stage. A motion may also be moved for the matter to
          be referred to the Federation Chamber for further debate.

Timing and copy requirements:
6.10     Departments need to be aware of the following:
          •     the PM&C Tabling Officer coordinates the processing of Ministerial Statements and takes
                receipt of the bulk copies under embargo;
          •     statements are to be delivered to the PM&C Tabling Officer in RG98 usually at least 2 hours
                before the statement is to be made which allows non-government members and senators
                time to prepare a response before debate and assists in the process of seeking leave for the
                statement to be made;
          •     tabling and copy requirements for the statement are set out in Appendices B, E and P;
          •     in the event a Ministerial Statement involves tabling of associated documents, the documents
                to be tabled are to be distributed to the Opposition at the same time as the statement. The
                PM&C Tabling Officer must be advised and copies, packaged and delivered according to
                Appendices B, E and P. An extra 30 copies are also to be provided to the PM&C Tabling
                Officer for distribution with the statement to non-government senators and members.

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

7.0      DEEMED/CLERK’S DOCUMENTS
7.1       Some documents are tabled in Parliament as ‘deemed documents’ in the House of
          Representatives, and as ‘Clerk’s documents’ in the Senate. These documents include legislative
          instruments tabled pursuant to the Legislation Act 2003 (LA) and ministerial/departmental
          correspondence relating to delays in providing reports to Ministers as required by statute.
7.2       Legislative instruments are required under section 38 of the LA to be delivered to each House of
          Parliament by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel (OPC) within six sitting days after the
          instrument is registered on the Federal Register of Legislation (FRL).
7.3       Rule-making entities must ensure that they simultaneously lodge the explanatory statement and
          the instrument with OPC for registration on FRL as soon as possible after the instrument is
          lodged with the Federal Executive Council Secretariat or made by the rule-maker. If the entity
          does not do this, or cannot comply in time, OPC may have to deliver the instrument for tabling
          without the explanatory statement.
7.4       Under section 39 of the LA, the rule-maker is then required, as soon as possible, to deliver the
          required number of copies of the explanatory statement to the Parliament, together with a written
          statement explaining why the explanatory statement was not delivered to OPC in time. If an
          explanatory statement is not prepared, it will not invalidate the instrument. However, it is possible
          that a notice of motion to disallow the instrument may be given. The explanatory statement will
          still need to be provided to OPC for registration on FRL after tabling so that it can be accessed on
          FRL.
7.5       After the instrument is lodged by OPC with the Table Offices, tabling details can be accessed
          through FRL or through the authoritative records of the Parliament, the Votes and Proceedings
          (House of Representatives) or the Journals of the Senate (See www.aph.gov.au).
7.6       Any non-legislative instruments and other documents are to be tabled as below.

Advice to the Clerks
7.7       Departments are to write to the Clerk of each House providing the documents to be tabled and,
          where applicable:
                   indicating whether the documents are disallowable instruments;
                   citing the legislation under which each document has been made;
                   citing the section of the legislation which requires the document to be tabled;
                   providing the name and details of a departmental contact; and
                   providing explanatory statements that have been prepared for such documents.

Timing for tabling
7.8       Departments must ensure that for disallowable non-legislative instruments, the instrument and
          accompanying documents are forwarded well in advance of the end of the statutory period for
          tabling. For the purpose of calculating the periods relating to disallowable instruments,
          departments are encouraged to keep track of sitting days of both Houses, as these occasionally
          differ and sitting days can sometimes be varied (added or not meet).
7.9       Documents received by 5.00pm in the House on a sitting day (3.00pm for sitting Thursdays) will
          normally be tabled on that day. Documents received by 3.00pm in the Senate will normally be
          tabled the following day. Notification of tabling will appear in the Journals of the Senate and
          the Votes and Proceedings which are published on the APH website.

Copies
7.10      Copies must be packaged and delivered according to Appendix F. Where a department requires
          a wider circulation or the document to be tabled is likely to be in high demand, additional copies
          may be required.
7.11      Inquiries are to be directed to the contact officers in the House and Senate Table Offices, listed
          at Appendix Q.

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

8.0      PRESENTING DOCUMENTS TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE
         SENATE WHEN THE SENATE IS NOT SITTING

8.1      Senate standing order 166 provides for the presentation of documents when the Senate is not
         sitting (see Appendix L). Presentation of documents when the Senate is not sitting is coordinated
         by the Senate Table Office. Departments need to contact the Documents Officer in the Senate
         Table Office directly to make the appropriate arrangements (see Appendix G for detailed
         procedures). The responsible Minister writes to the President of the Senate (see form letter of
         transmittal at Appendix M).
8.2      Legislative and other disallowable instruments cannot be presented when the Senate is not sitting,
         however, they can be delivered for tabling on the next available sitting day.
8.3      Upon receipt by the President, the document is deemed to have been presented to the Senate
         and is authorised for publication. Departments may wish to note that parliamentary privilege and
         the authority to release a document is not obtained until the President has received the document,
         so the document remains under embargo until that time.
8.4      Documents to be presented in this way must have received clearance by relevant Ministers and,
         in the case of Government responses and Ministerial Statements, also by Cabinet or the Prime
         Minister before presentation to the President of the Senate.
8.5      Copies must be packaged and delivered according to Appendix G.
8.6      The out of sitting presentation of documents is recorded in the Journals of the Senate on the next
         sitting day.
8.7      Documents presented out of sitting will be tabled in the House of Representatives at the earliest
         opportunity when it next meets, unless the document relates to the Senate only (e.g. a
         Government response to a Senate committee report).

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

9.0       ADDITIONAL COPIES FOR THE PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS
          SERIES AND COMMONWEALTH LIBRARY DEPOSIT AND FREE
          ISSUE SCHEMES
Parliamentary Paper Series

9.1       The Parliamentary Papers Series (PPS) is produced by the Parliament as a comprehensive
          collection of documents of a substantial nature presented to the Parliament. The series includes
          copies of most annual reports and other tabled documents recommended by the Joint
          Publications Committee.

          From 1 January 2017, the printed PPS has been discontinued and is now in digital format only.
          The online document must be available in two formats, PDF and one other format, such as
          Word.
          An email containing a hyperlink to the document on the department’s website must be sent
          to documents.tabled@aph.gov.au. The subject field in the email must contain the title of the
          document. The body of the email must contain a hyperlink to the document and set out as
          follows:
          “The following report, [insert report title], tabled on [insert date] is now available on the
          department’s website and can be accessed using the following hyperlink: [insert hyperlink]”.
          The name of a departmental contact person with the details of their telephone and email
          contacts must also be included in the email.
          Documents tabled prior to 1 January 2017, still require the provision of hard copies and must
          be printed on International B5 size paper.
              • 2016 - 30 copies
              • 2015 - 40 copies
              • 2014 and earlier – 100 copies

          Provision of printed copies must be sent to the following address:

          Parliamentary Paper Series (PPS)
          House of Representatives Basement Document Store
          Point 3
          Parliament House Loading Dock
          Brisbane Avenue
          CANBERRA ACT 2600
9.2       Advice on the PPS or ePPS is available from:
                   Agencies A to M: the Documents Officer, Senate Table Office, (02) 6277 3037.
                 Agencies N to Z, Budget documents and Auditor-General’s reports: the Documents
                  Manager, House of Representatives Table Office, (02) 6277 4800.

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Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament

Commonwealth Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes
9.3       Author bodies are required to provide copies of all publications for the combined Commonwealth
          Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes (LDS). Advice in relation to these schemes is available
          on the internet www.finance.gov.au/librarydeposit.
          Please note that embargoed publications cannot be accepted for distribution to deposit
          libraries, you must wait until the publications have been tabled and are public before
          sending them directly to the address listed below.
          Contact details:
          Library Deposit Scheme Distribution Service
          C/- Decipha Pty Ltd
          Level 1, Canberra GPO
          53 – 73 Alinga Street
          CANBERRA CITY
          (Deliveries: enter via Australia Post loading dock from Rudd Street; on delivery, please call
          Decipha staff on (02) 6129 3000).

Copies
9.4       Copies must be packaged, clearly labelled and delivered according to Appendices C or G, as
          applicable.

Funding additional copies
9.5       Departments are responsible for printing and funding the additional copies of documents required
          for the PPS and the LDS.

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